undergroundnewsroom.com April 26, 2018

Palestinians need Trump two-state pledge before peace

25 August 2017, 01:37 | Rodolfo Quinn

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stands during a reception ceremony for Jordan's King Abdullah II in the West Bank city of Ramallah Thomson Reuters

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stands during a reception ceremony for Jordan's King Abdullah II in the West Bank city of Ramallah

U.S. President Donald Trump remains committed and optimistic about achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace, his son-in-law and senior adviser told the sides on Thursday during his first visit to the region since last month's surge of violence.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, said that he believed peace in the region between Israelis and Palestinians was "within our reach", according to The Times of Israel.

Netanyahu is meeting today with Kushner and the other members of the senior American delegation to the Middle East: Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell. His platform played down the significance of Israeli settlements and he surrounded himself with a group of advisers with deep ties to the settlement movement, including Kushner and the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.

"The relationship between Israel and America is stronger than ever, and we really thank Prime Minister Netanyahu for his leadership and his partnership".

Ben-Ami's statement came after a spokeswoman for the State Department, Heather Nauert, said on Wednesday that the administration is not endorsing any specific formulas for ending the conflict, because that could create "bias towards one side or the other".

Kushner was meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday night. A spokesman for Abbas called the meeting "important and crucial".

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The White House delegation was sent by Trump in order to advance the renewal of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The Palestinians initially welcomed Trump's election, but they have since grown impatient with what they say is a failure by the US president to present a roadmap for peace. And then one lawmaker in Netanyahu's government wrote on Facebook, Trump has failed his efforts with the Palestinians, have no chance of success.

The report of a Palestinian ultimatum, published Tuesday on the al-Monitor news website, followed Abbas' complaints on Sunday to a delegation of left-wing Israeli MKs that the Trump administration is "in chaos" and has been unresponsive to Palestinian demands vis-a-vis Israel, especially the demand that Washington force Israel back to the negotiating table. I mean, why are you so loath to say - to commit yourself - to recommit yourself to the two-state solution? "So we leave it up to them to be able to work that through".

He said it was an option under consideration because "the American administration has not presented any initiative until now, while the Israelis continue with their settlement activities and refuse to abide by obligations they signed up to".

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki told the Voice of Palestine radio station on Thursday that the Palestinians would be seeking "clear answers" from Kushner on settlements and independence.

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